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to Holmes brings American humour to its finest point and is, in fact, one of the first of American Wils. Perhaps the following verses will best illustrate a specialty of Holmes's wit, the kind of badinage with which he quizzes common sense so successfully, by his happy paradox of serious, straightforward statement, and quiet qualifying afterwards, by which he tapers his point.”—Quarterly Review.]
“Man wants but little here below.’
“LITTLE I ask; my wants are few ;
(A very plain brown stone will do)
And close at hand is such a one,
Plain food is quite enough for me; Three courses are as good as ten;
If Nature can subsist on three, Thank Heaven for three–Amen l
I always thought cold victual nice,— My choice would be vanilla-ice.
I care not much for gold or land; . Give me a mortgage here and there, Some good bank-stock, some note of hand, Or trifling railroad share, I only ask that Fortune send A little more than I shall spend.
Honours are silly toys, I know,
I would, perhaps, be Plenipo-
I'm very sure I should not care
Jewels are baubles; 'tis a sin
One good-sized diamond in a pin,
A ruby, and a pearl, or so,
My dame should dress in cheap attire
I own perhaps I might desire
Some narrowy crapes of China silk,
Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not learn, Nor ape the glitt'ring upstart fool;
Shall not carved tables serve my turn,
Give grasping pomp its double care,
Thus humble let me live and die, Nor long for Midas' golden touch;
If Heaven more gen’rous gifts deny,
Too grateful for the blessing lent
Oliven WENDELL Holmes.
THE PIOUS EDITOR'S CREED.
[The Biglow Papers, by James Russell Lowell, is well known as one of the most racy and pungent volumes of humorous and satirical verse which has emanated from the press. The Pious Editor's Creed is, says the editor of the English edition, “an exquisite piece of satire levelled at the swarms of noisy editors in the United States, who seek political preferment in the great quadrennial scrambles.” Professor Lowell was born at Boston in 1819, and he filled the chair of Belles-Lettres in Harvard University. As a poet and humorist, he occupies a high position in America and Great Britain. He is now Ambassador to England (1884).]
• I have left a good woman who never was here,’ The stranger he made reply, “But that my draught should be the better for that, I pray you answer me why?'
• St. Keyne,' quoth the Cornish-man, “many a time Drank of this crystal well, And before the angels summon'd her, She laid on the water a spell.
“If the husband of this gifted well Shall drink before his wife,
A happy man thenceforth is he, For he shall be master for life.
• But if the wife should drink of it first, God help the husband then l'
The stranger stoop'd to the well of St. Keyne, And drank of the water again.
“You drank of the well I warrant betimes?'
“I hasten’d as soon as the wedding was done,
But i' faith she had been wiser than me,
RUNNING WITH THE “MASHEEN.”
[Montmen M. Thompson, 1831-1865, was born at Riga, N. Y. studied at Michigan University, and after a short connection with the drama, became a clerk in New
York city, and in 1853 began to write for the press over
the assumed name of Q. K. Philander Doesticks. Books published under this name include Doesticks—What he Saus (1855), Pluribustah (1856), History and Records of the Elephant Club (1857) and Nothing to Say (1857.)]
Since the “Grate old Squwirt” made to go by steam, and imported from Cincinnati put to the blush Metropolitan Redshirtdom, and which couldn't raise steam enough to throw water to the top of City Hall, has proved such a signal failure, the ood old-fashioned, “fire-annihilators” not Barnum's) have been more popular than ever. The “boys” say they will take the oldest primitive engine in the city, man it with fourteen small-sized news-boys on a side, and, with this apparatus, will WOL. III.-W. H.
throw more water, throw it higher, farther, and to more purpose than any or all the clumsy steam humbugs yet invented in Porkopolis. Ninety-seven's boys say they can run to a fire, get their water on, extinguish the conflagration, “take-up,” get home, bunk in, and snooze half an hour before the “Squwirt” could get her kindlingwood ready. Now I am not known by the cognomen of “Mose,” nor do I answer to the name of “Syskey’—neither as a general thing do I promenade the middle of Broadway with my pantaloons tucked in my boots. Still, by way of a new excitement, I lately joined the Fire Department, and connected myself with the Company of Engine 97. Bought my uniform, treated the company, took up my quarters in the bunkroom, where I slept by night in a bed occupied in the day time by a big yellow dog. First night, went to bed with my boots on, ready for an alarm. At last it came—seized the rope with the rest of the boys; started on a run; tugged and toiled till we got her into the 11th district, four miles and a half from home; found the alarm had been caused by a barrel of shavings, and the conflagration had extinguished itself; had to drag her clear back; tired most to death; it wasn’t funny at all. Turned in ; half an hour, new alarm ; started again—hose 80 laid in the same alley, got our apparatus jammed on the corner; fight; 97 victorious; got our machine out, and carried off the forewheel of 80's carriage on our tongue; reached the fire; big nigger standing on the hydrant; elected myself appraiser and auctioneer; knocked him down without any bidder; took water; got our stream on the fire; fun ; worked till my arms ached; let go to rest; foreman hit me over the head with a trumpet and told me to go ahead; children in the garret horrible situation; allant fireman made a rush up the adder; battled his way through the smoke—reappeared with a child in each arm, and his pocket full of teaspoons. Old gentleman from the country; much excited; wanted to help, but didn't exactly know how; he rushed into a fourth story bedroom; threw the mirror out of the window; frantically endeavored to hurl the dressing-table after it; seized the 9
coal-scuttle; hurriedly put in the poker, bootjack and a pair of worn out slippers carried them down stairs, and deposite them in a place of safety four blocks away; came back on a run, into the parlor; took up the door-mat, wrapped o an empty decanter in it, and transporte it safely into the barn of the nearest neighbor; he kept at work; by dint of heroic exertions, he at various times deposited, by piece, the entire kitchen cooking-stove in d. next street, uninjured; and at last, after knocking the piano to pieces with an axe, in order to save the lock, and filling his pocket with sofa castors, he was seen to make his final exit from the back-yard, with a length of stovepipe in each hand, the toasting fork tucked behind his ear, and two i. muffin rings in his hat, which was surmounted by a large-sized frying pan. uring the next week there were several alarms—fire in a big block full of paupers—first man in the building; carried down stairs in my arms two helpless undressed children, thereby saving their valuable lives; on giving them to the mother, she, amid a whirlwind of thanks, imparted the gratifying intelligence that one was afflicted with the measles, and the other had the Michigan itch. Another fire; foreman took the lead, and ran down the street, yelling like an independent devil, with a tin trumpet, Company made a grand stampede, and followed in the rear, o old 97 in a spasmodic gallop. Found the fire, in a hoarding schools; dashed up a ladder; tumbled through a window; entered a bed-room; smoke so thick I couldn't see; caught up in my arms a feminine specimen in a long night-gown; got back to the window; tried to go down; ladder broke under me, stuck aio; to the young lady; and, after lo exertions, deposited her safely in the next house, where I discovered that I had rescued from the devouring element the only child of the black cook. Fire in a storehouse—went on the roof; explosion; found myself in somebody's cellar, with one leg in a soap barrel, and my hair full of fractured hen's eggs; discovered that I had been blown over a church, and had the weathercock, still remaining in the rear of my demolished pantaloons. Fire in a liquor-store—hose burst;
brandy “lying round loose;” gin “conyaynient,” and old Monongahela absolutely begging to be protected from further dilution; Croton water too much for my delicate constitution; carried home on a shutter. Fire in a church—Catholic—little marble images all round the room in niches; wall began to totter; statues began to fall; St. Andrew knocked my fire hat over my eyes; St. Peter threw his whole weight on my big toe ; St. Jerome hit me a clip over the head, which laid me sprawling, when a picture of the Holy oly fell and covered me up like a bed quilt. Fire in a big clothing store—next day our foreman sported a new silk velvet vest, seven of the men exhibited twelve dollar doeskin pants, and the black boy who sweeps out the bunk room, and scours the engine, had a new hat and a flaming red cravat, presented, as I heard, by the proprietor of the stock of goods as an evidence of his appreciation of their endeavors to save his property. I didn't get any new breeches; on the contrary, lost my new overcoat and got damaged myself. Something like this— fire out, order came, “take up, 97; ” took off the hose; turned her round; got the boys together, and started for home; corner of the street hook and ladder 100 (Dutch), engine 73 (Irish), hose 88 (Yankee), and our own company, came in contact; machines got jammed; polyglot swearing by the strength of the companies; got all mixed up; fight; one of 88's men hit foreman of hook and ladder 100 over the head with a spanner; extemporaneous and impartial distribution of brickbats; 97's engineer clipped one of 73's men with a trumpet; 73 retaliated with a paving stone; men of all the companies went in ; resolved to “go in” myself; went in ; went out again as fast as I could, with a black eye, three teeth (indigestible, I have reason to believe) in my stomach, intermingled with my super, my red shirt in carpet rags, and my nuckles skinned, as if they had been pawned to a Chatham street Jew. Got on a hydrant and watched the fun; 88's boys whipped everything; 73's best man was doubled up like a jack-knife, by a dig in the place where Jonah was; four of 97's fellows were lying under the machine with their eyes in mourning ; hook and ladder took home two-thirds of their company on the truck, and the last I saw of their foreman, he was lying in the middle of the street, with his trumpet smashed flat, his boots under his head, his pockets inside out, a brick in his mouth, a hundred and twenty-five feet of hose on the back of his neck, and the hind wheels of 20's engine resting on his left leg. Four policemen on the opposite corner, saw the whole row. On the first indication of a fight, they pulled their hats down over their eyes, covered up their stars, and slunk down the nearest alley. Got home, resigned my commission, made my will, left the company my red shirt and fire cap. Seen enough of fire service; don't regret my experience, but do grieve for my lost teeth and my new overcoat. P. S. Have just met the foreman of 73—he had on my late lamented overcoat; ain’t big enough to lick him–magnanimously concluded to let him alone.
1 was never given to accepting the decisions of others as gospel in any case where it was possible for me to manufacture a home-made opinion of my own, and I did not greatly wonder at myself when I discovered that my emotions, when I first beheld that great aqueous brag of universal Yankeedom, Niagara, were not of the stereotyped and generally-considered-to-be-necessary— sort. The letter which follows, and which is all the reminiscence of my visit extant, was published soon after, and extensively copied, and was, in fact, the first article which bore the name of Doesticks.
DOESTICKS ON A BENDER.
I HAVE been to Niagara—you know Niagara Falls—big rocks, water, foam, i. Rock, Indian curiosities, squaws, moccasins, stuffed snakes, rapids, wolves, Clifton house, suspension bridge, place where the water runs swift, the ladies faint, scream, and get the paint washed off their faces; where the aristocratic Indian ladies sit on the dirt and make little bags; where all the inhabitants swindle strangers; where the cars go in a hurry, the waiters are impudent, and all the small boys swear.
When I came in sight of the suspension bridge, I was vividly impressed with the idea that it was “some "bridge; in fact,
a considerable curiosity, and a “considerable” bridge. Took a glass of beer and walked up to the Falls; another glass of beer and walked under the Falls; wanted another glass of beer, but couldn't get it; walked away from the Falls, wet through, mad, triumphant, victorious; humbug humbug | Sir, all o except #: dampness of everything, which is a moist certainty, and the cupidity of everybody, which is a diabolical fact, and the Indians and niggers everywhere, which is a satanic truth. o Another glass of beer— 'twas forthcoming—immediately—also another, all of which I drank. then proceeded to drink a glass of beer; went over to the States, where I procured a glass of beer— went up-stairs, for which I paid a sixÉ. over to Goat Island, for which I disursed twenty-five cents; hired a guide, to whom I paid half a dollar—sneezed four times, at nine cents a sneeze—went up on the tower for a quarter of a dollar, and looked at the Falls—didn't feel sublime any ; tried to, but couldn’t ; took some beer, and tried again, but failed—drank a glass of beer and began to feel better— thought the waters were sent for and were on a journey to the-; thought the place below was one sea of beer—was going to jump down and get some; #. held me; sent him over to the hotel to get a glass of beer, while I tried to write some poetry —results as follows: Oh thou (spray in one eye) awful, (small lobster in one o sublime (both feet wet) master-piece of (what a lie) the Almighty 1 terrible and majestic art thou in thy tremendous might—awful (orful) to behold, (cramp in my right shoulder,) gigantic, huge and nice Oh, thou that tumblest down and riseth up in misty majesty to heaven—thou glorious o of a thousand rainbows—what a uge, grand, awful, terrible, tremendous, infinite, old swindling humbug you are; what are you doing there, you rapids, you —you know you've tumbled over there, and can't get up again to save your puny existence; you make a great fuss, don't you? Man came back with the beer, drank it to the last drop, and wished there had been a gallon more—walked out on a rock to the edge of the fall, woman on the shore very much frightened—I told her not to get excited if I fell over, as I